Dieter F. Uchtdorf Shares Experience As a Refugee

Providing insight to the current refugee crisis in Europe, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shares his experience as a refugee in Germany during WWII. He expresses that as the members of the LDS faith we should never “label” any people, and should help people in need throughout the world, and help them to become self reliant.

Community Effort (Northern Virginia) to assist Syrian refugees:

Several religious and other charity groups work together in Oklahoma tornado cleanup effort

There’s a lot to like about this news report. I love how several volunteer groups, including Mormon Helping Hands, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Baptist charity groups and other organizations were working together to help the people in Oklahoma after the recent tornado. Also just seeing people care enough to voluntarily give their time and money in service for their neighbors strengthens my faith in society and inspires me to want to do the same. These are people of faith putting their time and money where their prayers are.

From mormonnewsroom.org:

“…an estimated 2,500 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers assisted their neighbors over the Memorial Day weekend, working an estimated 15,000 hours. In several neighborhoods, Church volunteers worked shoulder-to-shoulder with other groups to assist tornado victims in a common effort.

“The focus of who we are in terms of wanting to give service to our fellow man really binds us together as a community,” said local Church leader, Kevin Graves. “You see people of great faith and a lot of love for their fellow being regardless of their religious denomination.”

…volunteer Carlos Coronado said all of the groups were helping together because they believe in following the example of Christ.

..Baptist charity Mercy Chefs served meals to the hungry including Mormon Helping Hands volunteers working in different parts of the devastation. The charity is made up of professional chefs who donate their time to prepare hot gourmet meals for victims and volunteers.

…When around 40 Church missionaries clad in Mormon Helping Hands vests and tee-shirts arrived on their property, Karen Johnston was overwhelmed with relief. “I was like, oh my… the army is here! The army in the yellow shirts!” she said.

A little while later, a group from the Journey Church from Norman, Oklahoma and the Fellowship church out of Dallas, Texas came to help too. Soon the “army of yellow shirts” was mixed with an army of people wearing red tee-shirts, all working together.

Pastor Andy Boyd said there are churches and faith-based groups all working for a greater cause to help people like Mark and Karen. “It’s not telling them the gospel it’s showing it to them,” said Pastor Boyd.”

On a few occasions I’ve heard people say something to the effect of, mormons spend a lot of time and money building temples and doing missionary work, why doesn’t your church do something to help the needy? Resisting the urge to blurt out, “we do!” and pull out a stat sheet, my better response is this, let’s work together and do more to help because there’s a lot of people who are in need, and not just people who are suffering from natural disasters, and not just people who need monetary assistance. All of these groups have given us a tremendous example of how to do it.

He never fails us

…I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.

And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. (Ether 12:33-34)

My first few drafts of this post included my attempts to define charity and then trying to expound on the writings about charity found in 1 Corinthians 13, Moroni 7, and my favorite – Ether 12. I’ve decided to simply quote what inspired this post in the first place, Elder Jefferey Holland’s words on charity which reference the verses above:

“…it is not just that we should try to be charitable ourselves. We should. We are supposed to be Christ-like, we are supposed to be charitable, we are supposed to demonstrate charity, but what [Moroni] is saying is, that were it not for real charity, capital C, the one time in all the world that real charity was demonstrated, i.e., the pure love of Christ — if it were not for that, “we could not inherit that place which thou has prepared in the mansions of thy Father.” That’s the charity that faileth not. Ours does as much as we try. We give it our best effort and we fall short. But one time, in one way, with one person, the pure love of Christ was demonstrated. Real charity was given to this world. And that’s why we can say that charity never faileth.

He never fails us. The message of the Book of Mormon is that Christ does not fail us! That’s what we’re trying to tell a world. That’s what we’re trying to say with the basic missionary text of this dispensation. That Christ is the pure love. He is the only one that has ever really mastered it while the rest of us are still trying. But it will never fail. His salvation will not fail, His ordinances will not fail, His church will not fail. This is the dispensation of the fullness of times. [The fullness of the gospel] will never be taken from the face of the earth again. That’s the message of the Book of Mormon.

Life has its share of fears and failures. Sometimes things fall short. Sometimes people fail us, economies fail us, businesses or governments fail us. But one thing in time and eternity does not fail us, the pure love of the Lord Jesus Christ as manifest in His Atoning sacrifice. That’s why we can inherit the place which Thou has prepared, Father, for us in the mansions on high.”

–Elder Holland
“Mission of the Book of Mormon”, 1997 Mission Presidents’ Seminar